Maryland officials announce $10 million grant aimed at combating heroin, opioid crisis

There’s a new multimillion dollar effort to combat heroin and opioid addiction in Maryland.

The Hogan Administration has announced a $10 million grant that will go toward ensuring local jurisdictions across the state are equipped to take on the heroin and opioid epidemic with lifesaving resources, treatment and recovery programs.

The grant is the result of an effort between the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and was announced as part of the budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

In all, $4 million in block grants will help local Opioid Intervention Teams within each jurisdiction fight the epidemic and $5.6 million will go toward prevention and education, enforcement and public safety and treatment and recovery programs.

Prevention and education efforts will include $184,000 to expand law enforcement-assisted diversion to treatment programs. There will also be money funneled into public schools systems, awareness campaigns and support for families of surviving victims. An additional $295,000 will support EMS education initiatives statewide for treating overdoses.

When looking at treatment and recovery efforts, nearly $60,000 will help reduce barriers to treatment in Baltimore City. An additional $380,000 will improve access to naloxone statewide.

Enforcement and Public Safety initiatives will include $205,000 toward community education in Allegany County and $580,000 to increase how dispensers and prescribers of controlled substances are monitored.

Steve Schuh, executive director of the OOCC said in a statement, “this battle will be won through the combined efforts of all of the local communities across the state. The OOCC supports all of these great programs.”

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